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Number of Americans opposed to getting a COVID vaccine reaches new low, poll finds

The poll also found that the number of parents who are likely to get their children vaccinated increased.
Pfizer vaccine 08052021
A poll found COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy in the U.S. dropped to a new low in recent weeks. (Tammy Ljungblad | tljungblad@kcstar.com)

A new poll found COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy in the United States has dwindled in recent weeks.

The Axios/Ipsos coronavirus index poll found 20% of respondents said they are unlikely to get a vaccine — the lowest level since the index started tracking vaccine opposition. It comes after the Food and Drug Administration granted formal approval to the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine and as the highly contagious delta variant continues to spread.

The poll of 1,071 adults was conducted Aug. 27-30 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.2 percentage points.

Drop in vaccine hesitancy

The 20% of respondents who said they are not likely to get the vaccine is down from 23% in a poll conducted Aug. 13-16 and down from a high of 63% recorded in September 2020.

Fourteen percent of those surveyed in the most recent poll said they are “not at all likely” to get the COVID-19 vaccine, while 6% said they are “not very likely” to get one. That’s down from 15% and 8%, respectively, compared to the poll conducted Aug. 13-16.

Seventy-two percent of those surveyed said they have already received a COVID-19 vaccine, and an additional 8% said they are either “very likely” or “somewhat likely” to get one.

The poll also found that the number of parents who are likely to get their children vaccinated increased.

Twenty-six percent said they are “very likely” and 22% said they are “somewhat likely” to get their child a COVID-19 vaccine, up from 22% and 16%, respectively, compared to the Aug. 13-16 poll. An additional 20% of parents said their child has already received at least one dose of a vaccine.

“With more than 45 million children under 12 — who are not yet eligible for the vaccine — this change suggests that once the vaccine is approved for younger kids, there may be a significant surge in the vaccination rate,” Ipsos said in a news release.

Meanwhile, 11% of parents surveyed said they are “not very likely” and 19% said they are “not at all likely” to get their child a coronavirus vaccine, down from 17% and 27%, respectively, the poll found.

Pfizer approval and the delta variant

The new poll was conducted four days after the FDA formally approved the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine for people ages 16 and older. The vaccine had previously been available under emergency use authorization and remains under such authorization for children ages 12-15.

The Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines also remain available under emergency use authorization.

The poll found 39% of respondents were “very familiar” and 32% were “somewhat familiar” with the approval of the Pfizer vaccine.

Additionally, the poll found that, among unvaccinated respondents, 12% were “very likely” and 23% were “somewhat likely” to get a COVID-19 vaccine that was formally approved by the FDA. An additional 22% said they are “not very likely” and 40% said they are “not at all likely” to get an approved vaccine.

The poll also comes as the delta variant continues to spread throughout the U.S. and spark COVID-19 outbreaks.

The variant’s spread and a continuing surge in COVID-19 cases has prompted new guidance from health officials and new vaccine or mask mandates in some areas or businesses.

The poll found that concern about the delta variant has been on the rise, with 80% who said they’re extremely, very or somewhat concerned. That total is up from 77% in the Aug. 13-16 poll.

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